Due to high gross profit margins and strict cost management, EBIT in the GLOBAL FORWARDING, FREIGHT division was up significantly from €383 million to €429 million. This increase reflects a gain of 12.0%. The prior-year EBIT figure contained restructuring costs of €7 million. Return on sales amounted to 2.9% in the reporting year (previous year: 2.7%). In the fourth quarter EBIT declined by 3.8% from €131 million to €126 million. The prior-year figure contained restructuring costs of €1 million. Fourth-quarter earnings were impacted primarily by the structural adjustments of €16 million described above; return on sales therefore declined from 3.4% to 3.2%.
Despite revenue growth, net working capital was significantly below the prior year, due to improved receivables management especially in the fourth quarter. Thus, we improved operating cash flow significantly in the reporting year by €413 million to €657 million (previous year: €244 million).